What to feed dogs with skin allergies

Unfortunately, there are no dependable ways to test your dog for food allergies.

What to feed dogs with skin allergies

The only way to determine which foods your dog is allergic to is through the process of elimination. Typically, your vet will prescribe a special, limited-ingredient dog food containing types of meat and carbohydrates that aren’t in your dog’s usual meals and seeing how he does on it. If your dog’s symptoms clear up on this special meal plan, after a period of time your vet may own you switch your dog back to his ancient food to see if the allergy symptoms reappear. If they do, that will confirm that you’re dealing with a food allergy.

The next step is to identify the specific ingredient causing the allergic reaction in your dog.

This requires changing back to the limited ingredient food.

What to feed dogs with skin allergies

Once your dog’s symptoms clear up, your vet may then own you add ingredients from his ancient food back to his meals one at a time and monitor the results in order to identify which ingredients trigger an allergic reaction.

During this elimination trial, it’s extremely significant to only feed your dog the prescribed food. The most frequently mentioned reason for failure in determining allergies in elimination tests is household sabotage. This consists of giving your dog food that was not directly recommended by your veterinarian including dog treats, table scraps, diverse dog foods, etc.

During these trials, dogs can’t own even one of these in order for the test to be effective at diagnosing the allergy.

What to feed dogs with skin allergies

To put it in perspective, a human that is allergic to nuts cannot own even a single peanut. The same is true of your dog. To fully determine the cause of dog food allergies (if any does exist), you must be as strict as possible, and that includes everyone else in your household too. It’s hard when your pup sits there with his large begging eyes, but it is worth it if you can determine if an allergy exists.

What to feed dogs with skin allergies

These elimination tests typically take about 12-weeks after which your veterinarian will verify that your dog isn’t experiencing any of the previous allergy signs.

Self-Diagnosis

It is significant that if you believe your dog is experiencing allergies of any sort, food or environmental, that you check with your veterinarian to assist you best diagnose your pup. Self-diagnosis can be unhelpful or even dangerous in certain cases. Because food allergies and environmental issues present some of the same signs, it is hard to know which is the cause without proper testing.

Unlike in humans, dog allergy tests are much less dependable, which is why your veterinarian will likely give you specific instructions on what to expose your dog to and how to monitor his health over time to determine the specific cause for his health issues.

You may be tempted to do a limited-ingredient diet (LID) on your own as well. This is also not recommended for a couple of reasons. The first being the difference between intolerance and allergies. Without proper testing, it is hard to know the genuine cause. The second reason why LIDs aren’t always grand in self diagnosing your dog’s condition is that even limited-ingredient foods can be subject to allergen contamination. For instance, if you suspect that your dog is allergic to chicken, and you switch him over to something love lamb or venison, he might start feeling better, but because numerous food companies will use the same machinery to make their chicken product dog foods and their lamb-filled food there is a chance that some of the chicken allergens make it into your dog’s lamb food.

Love mentioned before, any introduction of an allergen, even a little quantity, can affect your dog overall. This is why it is best to follow your veterinarian’s strict instructions when asking about allergies.


What Causes Food Allergies?

According to Tuft University, «Food allergies happen when an animal’s immune system misidentifies a protein from a food as an invader rather than a food item and mounts an immune response. The finish result of this response can be itchy skin or ear and skin infections in some pets, while it may cause vomiting or diarrhea in others.» Once an immune response is triggered, it grows stronger every time that type of protein enters the body, which means your dog’s allergy may worsen every time he eats that specific food.


Food Allergies vs.

Food Intolerance

It’s also significant to note the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. If your dog is unable to tolerate a certain type of food, such as lactose, this means he lacks the digestive enzyme necessary to properly digest that food, and gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, may result. An allergy, on the other hand, is an immune response. When your dog comes into contact with something he’s allergic to, his immune system goes into overdrive attacking the allergen, resulting in skin problems, itching, or hair loss.

If your dog is suffering from a food intolerance rather than a food allergy, then hypoallergenic dog food is unlikely to assist. We recommend seeing your veterinarian to get the best possible solution for your pet.


Are Dog Food Allergies to Blame?

While people are often quick to blame a dog’s skin problems on what he eats, the truth, says Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Middle, is that food allergies in dogs are not every that common. The most common causes of allergies in pets are environmental including fleas, dust mites, grass, pollen, and other environmental causes. If your pup’s allergies tend to clear up during the winter or become worse at the height of flea season, then it’s likely his allergies are environmental.

But because actual food allergies can cause skin and ear problems similar to those caused by environmental allergies, it’s up to your veterinarian to assist you law out other types of allergies for certain before determining whether your dog’s food is to blame.


Hypoallergenic Dog Food

If food allergies are sure, your veterinarian may recommend hypoallergenic dog food and treats for your dog to eat. These types of foods take special precautions to avoid being cross-contaminated. Hypoallergenic dog foods may also be hydrolyzed, meaning that they go through a process of breaking below proteins on a molecular level so that they are too little for the dog’s body to recognize them as allergens.

This is often a prescription dog food, so you will need to talk to your veterinarian about this as an option for your dog.

While some companies sell over-the-counter foods that claim to be excellent for allergies—and some may contain supplements that can be helpful in controlling environmental allergies—these foods are not ideal for treating food allergies. As with limited ingredient foods, there is nothing to guarantee that your dog won’t become allergic to them in the future. These dog foods are also less regulated than prescription dog food and as such, might contain other contaminants that trigger an allergic response.

It’s also best to be wary of any hypoallergenic claims made by over-the-counter grain-free dog foods. Remember, it’s animal proteins, not grains, that are most likely causing food allergies in dogs.

Dog food allergies are tricky trade. Fortunately, they’re also the type of allergy your dog is least likely to suffer from.

What to feed dogs with skin allergies

If your dog is showing signs of allergies, talk to your vet before making any changes to his food. Even if it turns out that he does own a food allergy, changing his food without a vet’s supervision could make it more hard to diagnose.

Contributor Bio

Jean Marie Bauhaus

Jean Marie Bauhaus is a pet parent, pet blogger and novelist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she generally writes under the supervision of a lapful of furbabies.

Featured Quote:

Most allergies are contact allergies. There are definitely a percentage of dogs that own food allergies also.

Video Transcript:

So today, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about allergies, and there’s so numerous misconceptions and misinformation out there, and people who desire to sell you every kinds of things that are going to cure the allergies, but I’m going to helpful of give you just a basic picture of what’s significant to know.

And most importantly, remember, every dog is diverse. Every situation is diverse, and you really need the assist and guidance of a veterinary to select the best products.

Most people come to us because their dog is, tell, itching for whatever reason. Obviously, the first thing we’re going to law out would be parasites. There are some kinds of mites that can cause itching, certainly fleas and even ticks can cause itching, so we’re going to make certain that those things are well covered first.

Then the next thing we’ll start to talk about would be things love environmental concerns.

But really, with allergies, the way that they work with most dogs is that the vast majority are contact allergies. Yes, love some love that, and a dog is going to be exposed by stepping or rolling or laying in the grass, or whatever, and they’re going to be exposed to allergens. When we test for allergies, we’re testing for about 75 diverse things, so no one can glance at your dog and tell, «Oh, it’s grass.» There’s really just no way of knowing that, but it’s certainly a extremely excellent possibility that it could be grass or molds that are in the grass when the grasses are wet.

But what happens is these allergens are exposed to the dog’s skin, and then they’re absorbed through the skin.

Dogs that own allergies, a lot of them own a barrier problem; meaning if you ponder about the skin as being love saran wrap, and dogs that own allergies own more holes in their saran wrap than other dogs. So then these allergens are capable to penetrate through the skin, and in addition, they own some overreaction to whatever it is they’re being exposed to. If it’s grass, the grass allergens are getting into the skin and into the second layer of the skin a little bit easier, and then the body may be overreacting, causing histamine release, and other things that are really itchy for the dog, and then that’s going to cause the dog to itch.

Once the dog starts licking and chewing and scratching and biting, we get secondary problems love yeast and bacteria infections, which may require us to do some cytologies.

Basically, we’re looking at the cells of the skin to see if there’s yeast or bacteria, because they’re treated extremely differently.

What to feed dogs with skin allergies

We own so numerous amazing drugs now to assist fight with allergies. We own two new medications; one is a pill that is a non-steroidal pill that really helps to block the reaction of itch, and another one is an injectable drug that also helps with the overresponse that an allergic dog displays.

These drugs are amazing and such a lifesaver for a dog’s quality of life, but they do require that we make certain that infections are cleared up, and that we’ve done a beautiful thorough workup before doing any of these medications.

So bottom line is this: Most allergies are contact allergies. There are definitely a percentage of dogs that own food allergies also. Some of them can own a combination of every of the above, but I ponder if you went into a pet store, you’d discover that fairly often telling you, you own to purchase this certain helpful of food, and really rarely is that what should happen.

You don’t really desire to get your health information from a 16 year ancient pet store employee; not that there’s anything incorrect with them, but they don’t generally own the eight years of school that assist us to make a better plan for your puppy or your dog in choosing the best medications.

So, if your dog is having itching, scratching problem, most importantly, just get to the vet. Own them start working your dog up and discover the best way to get your dog’s skin under control.


Common Allergens in Dog Food

The most common foods to trigger an allergic response in dogs are animal proteins including chicken, beef, dairy, and eggs, says Tufts. Lamb, pork, and fish are less likely to cause allergies, although it is possible.

While some dogs own proven to be allergic to wheat and corn, this is actually much more rare than common wisdom would own you believe. Instances of other grains, such as oats or rice, causing allergies are rare to nonexistent.


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